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Thanks to @SusanCarr, the highly patient-centered editor of Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare, for this tipoff this morning. I only have time right now to post this & run out the door. Click the image to visit the piece on the Times site, but first, consider my questions below.

NYTimes medical websites

NYTimes 2

My initial thoughts – but I haven’t had time to read the piece yet:

  • It’s a valid question, which we’ve been talking about here for years. 
  • An inside page of the feature (see screen capture, right) asks a really wrong-headed question: “Does the internet add to patients’ knowledge or dangerously misinform them?” OR?? That’s exactly like asking whether email is fast “or” has scammers.
  • Who gets to say whether a site proved useful to the patient?
  • Why the hell were no e-patients among the sources interviewed? (See the red boxes in the top image.)

Besides, given the well documented giant cracks in the research and peer review processes, we could ask the same question about peer reviewed literature:

Does “authoritative” peer reviewed literature add to doctors’ knowledge, or dangerously misinform them? 

For compelling counterpoints, see the patient comments on our Google Mug post last December.)

Please, all, dive in, read, and comment. So many assumptions are hidden behind that headline’s question, not to mention their choice of whom to interview.


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